DUKTalks + Fish Guts

Earlier this Fall, I was part of the University’s “DUKTalks” event — rather like TED talks but (i) featuring speakers from UO, and (ii) without the vast audience. It was a fun and interesting program, with fifteen minute talks on medieval runes, Facebook, and more. My talk, “The Physics of Life,” was about (unsurprisingly) biophysics. … Continue reading DUKTalks + Fish Guts

Growing STEMs

There’s no shortage these days of articles on the shortage of STEM*-major students. Not quite as common, but arguably more important, are articles critically assessing whether such a shortage exists. The Chronicle of Higher Education a few days ago featured a nice essay in the latter category, The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth? *Science, Technology, … Continue reading Growing STEMs

Readings in Biophysics, part II (Readings not in Biophysics)

I’ll continue writing on useful or interesting readings in biophysics — Part I, a few weeks ago, dealt with textbooks.  There are many technical or scientific books that either aren’t actually about biophysics, or that are about a narrow aspect of biophysics, that are nonetheless particularly useful or stimulating. Here are some that come to … Continue reading Readings in Biophysics, part II (Readings not in Biophysics)

“China needs workers…”

One of the motivations for improving STEM education that I’ve briefly noted before (e.g. here and here) is the expectation of lots of future jobs requiring STEM skills. This is important, though I think it’s less important than conveying an appreciation of nature that a scientific perspective brings, and imparting skills that allow thinking “scientifically” … Continue reading “China needs workers…”

Favorite Popular Science Books

Inspired by a conversation yesterday, I’m posting a list of popular science books (i.e. science for the non-scientist reader) that I particularly like. Disclaimer: I don’t read lots of popular science — most of my non-fiction reading consists of travel writing. The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays On The Biology Of The Human Predicament … Continue reading Favorite Popular Science Books